Monday: When Lust Conceives
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Read James 1:13-15 again. When does temptation become sin?

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Several Greek words are used in this passage to describe how sin begins, and all of them are connected with giving birth. When a wrong desire is nurtured, sin is conceived, like a baby in the womb. Sin, when it is completely grown, gives birth to death (James 1:15, author’s literal translation).

The picture is paradoxical. The process that is supposed to give life results only [...]

Sunday: Root of Temptation
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Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Read James 1:13-14. Why is it important that God does not tempt anyone? Where does temptation originate, and how can this knowledge be helpful in our own struggle with sin?

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

James is emphatic. Not only is God not the author of evil, He is not the source of temptation either. Evil itself is the source of temptation. According to this passage, the problem lies within us, which is the main reason it’s so hard [...]

Sabbath: Enduring Temptation
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gless03-2014d

Read for This Week’s Study: James 1:12-21, Ps. 119:11, Gen. 3:1-6, Titus 3:5-7, Rom. 13:12, Eph. 4:22.

Memory Text: Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him (James 1:12).

We all have experienced it. We resolve not to give in to temptation, but in the heat of the battle, our resolve melts and-much to our own sense of shame [...]

Inside Story: Heidy’s Hope
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Juan Caicedo Solis

When 13-year-old Heidy Moreno and her cousin, Mirella began questioning their mothers’ rules, Heidy’s mother decided to stop their rebelliousness before it got out of hand. She took Heidy to a spirit medium-a witch.

The medium claimed that Heidy had a bad spirit. “I see a gold feather over your head,” the medium told Heidy. “The spirit that possesses you is powerful.” The medium performed a ritual to remove Heidy’s rebelliousness. Suddenly Heidy felt as if her body [...]

Friday: Further Study: The Perfecting of Our Faith
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studymore

Further Study: Ellen G. White, “The Sermon on the Mount,” p. 298-314, in The Desire of Ages.

God would have his servants become acquainted with their own hearts. In order to bring to them a true knowledge of their condition, he permits the fire of affliction to assail them, so that they may be purified. The trials of life are God’s workmen to remove the impurities, infirmities, and roughness from our characters, and fit them for the society of pure, [...]

HopeSS: The Perfecting of Our Faith
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Derek Morris 14d

You can view a discussion of the current lesson in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. You might also want to bookmark the HopeSS Youtube channel.

Thursday: The Rich and the Poor
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

In this short letter, James shows great concern for poor people; some even consider it his major theme. But to modern ears, his diatribes against the rich and in favor of the poor seem extreme, even shocking. At the same time, however, James isn’t saying anything much different from what Jesus has said.

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Compare James 1:9-11 with Luke 8:14; compare James 1:27 with Matthew 25:37-40; compare James 2:15-16 with Luke 10:29-37; and compare James [...]

02: The Perfecting of Our Faith – Hit the Mark
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Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself. Genesis 18:11-12

Sarah had just overheard Abraham being told again that his wife would bear him a son. It was humanly impossible for Abraham and Sarah to have a child. Although firm believers in God, this promise was more than they could take in.

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Their reaction to the promise of God was quite [...]

02: The Perfecting of our Faith – Thought Starters
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Image © Phil McKay from GoodSalt.com

Introduction…After surgery and 74 days in rehab for a broken hip joint, I’m back and headed for full recovery! Don’t read this if you’ve never done anything stupid, but I put on an ankle weight and forgot it was on until I decided to leap from my bedroom to the kitchen. For a split second I was airborne. Then I made contact with my hip joint and the ceramic tile flooring and lay sprawled on the floor for a very long time [...]

Wednesday: The Flip Side of Faith
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Read James 1:6-8. What is he saying to us here?

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

The word for doubt refers to one being inwardly divided; this helps us to understand its connection to double-mindedness. We see a clear example of this at Kadesh-Barnea. Israel faced a choice there: move forward in faith or rebel against the Lord. Amazingly, they chose rebellion and wanted to return to the bondage of Egypt. When God intervened and announced through Moses that they would [...]

02: The Perfecting of Our Faith – Lesson Plan
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gless02-2014d

Key Thought: James shows us how trials and difficulties help us to strengthen our faith and purify our lives…

[Lesson Plan for The Perfecting of Our Faith October 6, 2014]

1. Have a volunteer read James 1:2,3 and Ephesians 4:13.

a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. How does the testing of our faith bring patience or endurance?
c. Personal Application: Has you faith been tested lately? How did you respond to [...]

Tuesday: Asking in Faith
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Read James 1:5-6. How is wisdom different from knowledge? What connection does James make between wisdom and faith?

Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

It may seem a bit odd that James says, If any of you lacks wisdom. Who thinks he or she has enough wisdom to begin with? Solomon, for instance, recognizing his need, humbly asked for an understanding heart to . . . discern between good and bad (1 Kings 3:9). Later, he wrote: the fear of the [...]